I Sing! is a collaboration with lyricist Carrie Webster and was written specially for Harlow U3A Choir.
Carrie grew up in the London Borough of Waltham Forest and moved to Harlow in 2005. She has studied Sound Engineering and worked in the arts for many years, including working alongside the former Harlow Council arts officer. Carrie works at The Square Music venue and gives her time to support The Gibberd Gallery in Harlow.
Harlow U3A Choir is an amateur choir for retired and semi-retired people. ‘You don’t need to be a Maria Callas or a Pavarotti to join, there’s no auditions and you don’t have to be able to read music. You just need to be enthusiastic and prepared for a challenge.’
Carrie and I talked to the choir to collect their views on why they feel singing in a group is important, why they value music in their lives, and what their choir means to them. Their comments and stories were powerful and moving. They also expressed that they wanted a positive, uplifting song to be their anthem.
Carrie took the words and ideas of the choristers and developed them into lyrics, which I set to music, with a piano part for the choir’s own accompanist, Ronnie, a key member of the team.
Conductor Sue Mason then worked hard with the choir to prepare the anthem for performance at The Art of the Garden Party Festival in Harlow Museum Walled Gardens, in July 2014.
The featured recording was made in rehearsal in October 2014.
With thanks to Sue, Ronnie and the whole choir. Photo thanks to Corrina Dunlea.